Monday, September 19, 2011
WASHINGTON - The Forest Service is waiving fees at hundreds of recreation sites across the country on Saturday, September 24 in recognition of Public Lands Day.
The Forest Service has more than 60 project sites for initiatives across the country participating in this hands-on, national volunteer effort to improve America's lands. Local Forest Service activities may range from building and maintaining trails, cleaning waterways, pulling invasive weeds to sprucing up campgrounds.
"Public Lands Day provides a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to get out and enjoy our beautiful forests and grasslands," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "In many parts of the country, late September is the perfect time to view amazing fall colors as you get out and enjoy the woods."
This year's theme supports President Obama's Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative as well as First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Outside program. AGO helps to raise awareness about the challenges natural resources face today and the benefits public lands offer Americans. Let's Move Outside promotes regular outdoor activity to help kids maintain a healthy weight, boost immunity and lower stress
The annual National Public Lands Day coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation with the support of the Forest Service and other federal agencies, focuses on educating the public about the importance of natural resources and the need for shared stewardship on the land.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.
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